Scottish Ballet: Exalt and 5 Tangos
Classical meets contemporary in new double-bill
A week is a long time in politics, but as Christopher Hampson discovered, it can be a pretty long time at a ballet company too. Returning to Scottish Ballet’s Glasgow headquarters, after joining some of the dancers on tour, he discovered something very special had happened in his absence.
‘We brought Marc in to see how his work would look with everyone together,’ says Hampson. ‘And when I came back they did a showing and the joy was just palpable, it was really instant. Great communication, a lovely sharing of ideas and a lot of trust had built up.
I’d only been away for a week, but I saw this group of people that had become their own company, they’d morphed into this fab little off-shoot. And I thought let’s not make it an off-shoot, let’s make it part of what we do with the main company.’
Hampson was then asked to provide the opening performance for the inaugural Dance International Glasgow festival. Brew’s Exalt, in a double bill with Hans van Manen’s 5 Tangos, seemed like the perfect fit. Not only is Exalt enjoyable to watch (having sat through a rehearsal, I can vouch for Hampson’s ‘palpable joy’ statement) but it has given both sets of dancers a fresh outlook.
‘Indepen-dance wanted their dancers to be challenged, and to continue their professional development alongside peers at Scottish Ballet, so that’s why it all came about,’ explains Hampson. ‘But I think it’s been a challenge for everybody, and an amazing experience for all involved.’
Scottish Ballet Double of Exalt and 5 Tangos takes place, Fri 24–Sat 25 Apr at Tramway, Glasgow.